The first clash of the quarterfinals is upon us. Today Atalanta hypothetically host Paris Saint-Germain at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. It is a clash between an underdog, Atalanta, in scintillating form and a favorite, PSG, with little competitive match experience in the past five months.
On the Italians’ side, “the Goddess” last played on August 1, a 0-2 loss to Inter Milan to wrap up their Serie A season, finishing third behind Inter and champion Juventus. They played throughout the past months while Paris sat on their laurels, having been declared Ligue 1 champion in March. PSG came back to scrape by St. Étienne in the French Cup (1-0) and the Lyon in the Coupe de la Ligue (0-0, 6-5 on penalties), but other wise has resorted to steamrolling inferior clubs in friendly matches.
In terms of their squads, Atalanta will miss their starting regular goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, who was recently injured. Josip Ilicic, one of their main goal-scorers this season, is also still unavailable for personal reasons.
The missing names are a little more prominent for PSG: Angel Di Maria is suspended and midfielder Marco Verratti is injured. The biggest question mark, of course, is Kylian Mbappé, who suffered an ankle injury after a brutal tackle in the Coupe de la Ligue final two weeks ago. His status remains doubtful. All eyes will be on Neymar to deliver in his absence. Will he ever prove he was worth the €222 million PSG paid for him?
Some trivia: this game will be the first time in history that Atalanta and PSG have played one another. Atalanta’s only other match against a French club was versus Lyon in the 2017/18 Europa League (winning 2-1 on aggregate). They are the first Champions League débutants to reach the quarterfinals since Leicester City in 2016/17.
Location: Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
Time: 8:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST
Tips for commenting:
- If you’re a new member, feel free to introduce yourself. We’re
mostlyvery friendly! Also, we’re from all parts of the world so don’t feel shy if you’re from a country that doesn’t seem represented on the blog.
- SBN is a little slow to show new comments. Refresh the page regularly to keep up with the discussion, especially after goals.
- The goal celebrations are for everyone to participate in! Even if you’re lagging behind the others, keep replying to the most recent call of the player’s name. Even if you missed the first call, just start from the second, and so on.
- While swearing is allowed within reason, please be polite to your fellow posters and avoid gratuitous obscenities. Racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language is not allowed whatsoever.
Check out our beginners thread if you have any more questions. That’s about it. Auf geht’s!
Looking for an unending well of Bayern Munich content? Sign up for an SBNation account and join the conversation on Bavarian Football Works. Whether it’s full match coverage and analysis, breaking news or something completely different, we have it all.